I’m not sure what draws someone to choosing military service. Im not sure of what reasons they might have, internal or external, for giving up a part of their lives to serve the country we live in.
I’m not sure that we should be celebrating the group as a whole, either. I’m not sure if it behooves us as a nation to pour glory on a group, instead of the individual. I’m not sure that every individual is deserving of glory, or respect either.
I’m not sure how “national interests” are worth the lives of our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers. I’m not sure that our country understands the phrase, “Freedom doesn’t come free”. I’m not sure that we still wage wars for moral reasons, like we did in the past.
I’m not sure we are the moral center of the world that we used to be, could be, and should be. I’m not sure that we have the right to judge the rest of the world just because we have the power to do so. I’m not sure that we are making the right decisions when we deploy, or don’t deploy.
I’m not sure at all.
I am sure that I’ve known some of the very best veterans; the ones who are a mix of pride and ambition, who saw a chance to serve and took it, no matter their personal reasons. I’m sure they are all changed by the experience, for the better, in every one of them. I’m sure that they deserve my respect, my compassion, and my understanding.
I’m sure that on this Veterans Day, I won’t thinking about the nameless faces of the men and women who serve in the armed forces. I’m sure I’ll be thinking about my family, my uncle and father; my former bosses and friends who served int he armed forces. I’m sure I’ll be glad that they aren’t in active combat situations.
I’m sure that I hope the never will be, too.
To my friends and family who have served, today my glass is raised to you. I have questions about our government, I have questions about the situations our military finds itself in. I have questions about how we take care of vets and how we treat our fallen soldiers. I think it’s important that we have these questions, and are able to ask them.
But I don’t question you, your courage, or your ability to sacrifice. I don’t question the history you are making, or the traditions you are following. I don’t question, even for a second, that you deserve my respect, or my gratitude.
Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice.